Thank you for considering service as a Y.O.U. sponsor! Serving as a sponsor to a Y.O.U. chapter is a big responsibility as well as an incredibly rewarding one. It provides numerous opportunities to expand your own personal and spiritual growth as you share a spiritual path with Unity’s teens. You will get to put your spiritual beliefs and practices into play and “walk your talk” while seeing your results reflected in the youth you will be serving.
You are not alone in this great endeavor! Our Y.O.U. sponsor team has 4-5 sponsors and they share the roles and responsibilities noted below. The sponsor team partners with our YFM Director, Sr. Minister, and staff in support of the Y.O.U. chapter at Unity Minneapolis.
In order for you to be most successful as a Y.O.U. sponsor, we want you to be familiar and comfortable with the expectations. This will allow you to make the most out of your time with the youth and, hopefully, make the experience more manageable and rewarding for you. The job description below is a general overview of the position.
- 25 years of age or older
- Possess a general understanding of Unity principles
- Regular attendance and active participation at Unity Minneapolis for at least 6 months to 1 year
- Availability of 4-5 hours per week for regular activities
- Ability to attend weekend rallies and events
- Background Check
- Experience working with teens
- Training/expertise in communication skills
- Preferably able to make a one-year or longer commitment
Most sponsors bring to the position a wealth of previous experience gathered over the course of a lifetime (volunteer jobs, parenting experience, professional experience, etc). Listed below are summaries of a sponsor’s roles and responsibilities:
Roles and Responsibilities
- Spiritual Leader: A sponsor guides and encourages spiritual growth and creates a safe, positive atmosphere of acceptance and love in which the YOUers can share and grow. Sponsors model applying Unity principles in all situations.
- Facilitator: Sponsors facilitate spiritual lessons with activities to help YOUers apply principles in practical ways. Sponsors assist and support YOUers in preparing to lead part or all of a spiritual lesson, including meditation and prayers, and group discussion. Sponsors uphold church policies, procedures and state laws.
- Coach: The sponsors guide and support the YOUers in planning and conducting spiritual lessons along with service projects, social events, and fundraisers as needed to support chapter activities.
- Mentor: The sponsors are encouraged to interact with Y.O.U. members as a group and individually (when appropriate) during activity times in order to support each participant’s experience. Occasionally, the Y.O.U. members discuss challenges they are facing with sponsors. During these times, it is important that sponsors remain nonjudgmental and supportive. It is NOT a sponsor’s job to solve problems. Instead, sponsors seek to draw out the Christ potential and wisdom that dwells within each YOU member and encourages the YOUers to take responsibility for their own circumstances. Sponsors respect parental authority in matters relating to their child, and avoid taking sides between them. Chaperone The sponsors accompany YOUers to lock-ins, weekend rallies/retreats and special events. It is a sponsor’s job to make sure that registration paperwork and medical release forms for activities are filled out correctly and submitted in a timely fashion. Sponsors also oversee the group’s transportation to and from events and act as chaperones during these events.
- Role Model: Sponsors act as a powerful role model for YOUer. Sponsors strive to show up on time and be prepared, warmly welcome all participants, listen and give full attention, convert drama into Unity principles, uphold Y.O.U. heart agreements, seek ways to be in service in our spiritual community and beyond, respect and care for church property, see the Divine within every participant.
- Team Member: Sponsors are willing to be a “Team Player” and appreciate the unique gifts of each team member. Sponsors understand the Y.O.U. chapter is under the umbrella of the Youth and Family Ministry and sponsors serve under the direction of the Youth and Family Ministry Director. Sponsors strive for clear and consistent communication with the director and attend quarterly sponsor meetings. Sponsors act as liaisons between youth, youth director, and minister for clearance of lessons/curriculum, social activities, fund raisers, service projects, and budgets; between the regional consultants and Unity Minneapolis/YFM Director to ensure regional and international news and activities are relayed and chapter responsibilities carried out.
Portrait of a Sponsor
What qualities do we look for when choosing a sponsor who will be the spiritual guide for many young people during a vital, and often tumultuous, period of their lives? We believe an ideal sponsor can:
- Allow freedom not license
- Appreciate without judging
- Encourage rather than criticize
- Invite without demanding
- Listen rather than advise
- Love without clutching
- Suggest rather than command
- Supervise without “taking over”
- Support without rescuing